Climate Change

This from Michael Gerson:

The resistance of many conservatives to arguments about climate disruption is magnified by class and religion. Tea Party types are predisposed to question self-important elites. Evangelicals have long been suspicious of secular science, which has traditionally been suspicious of religious influence. Among some groups, skepticism about global warming has become a symbol of social identity — the cultural equivalent of a gun rack or an ichthus.
But however interesting this sociology may be, it has nothing to do with the science at issue. Even if all environmentalists were socialists and secularists and insufferable and partisan to the core, it would not alter the reality of the Earth’s temperature.

The transformation of skepticism into a shibboleth is fascinating, and something of a learned response. It’s a matter of identity, that in turn suggests that the issue is tapping something deeper in the skeptic. Climate disruption carries with it the whiff of disruption, or impermanence, true; perhaps even more it is the role of climate as a sign of hope. The issue is the bow in the sky, Nature/Creation’s seeming permanence proclaims that one can begin again. It’s never drastic. Our nature calendars tell us that this world is good. this is a delight that is egalitarian — we all have access to this beauty, this goodness that is outside our door.

Climate disruption would seem to put a lie to this; the tragic has happened. The beauty we see, the memories of cold winters and green summers at the lake are fading, not to be ours. Science and the elites seem to take it away from us. And so it becomes a matter of cultural war, not because of science or faith, but of loss.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s